City Hall News: Winners & Losers, Nov. 18 Edition

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Call us self-interested, but everybody in New York is a loser when police prevent reporters and photographers from covering the protests in lower Manhattan, and top city officials back them up. Some demonstrators provoked fights and some cops were brutal; the media tries to capture it all so New Yorkers can make up their own minds what happened. — New York City’s own rules allow media to do exactly that, but the rules meant nothing when credentialed photographers were beaten and handcuffed for trying to show those events to the rest of New York. No matter where you stand on Occupy Wall Street, the city deserves better from its government. 

WINNERS

Michael Bloomberg – Notwithstanding the press crackdown, the mayor took the upper hand in the two-month-long Occupy Wall Street saga just as public sympathy for the encampment was fading and just before it turned angry. Image matters, and to a substantial slice of New York, Bloomberg is now the strong figure keeping order amid chaos. Even several organizers of last night’s protest, tongues in cheek, were grateful to the mayor — for helping reinvigorate the movement.

Joe Bruno – His legal troubles aren’t over, but for the first time in two years, the former longtime Senate president is again an innocent man in the eyes of the law. A federal appeals court threw out convictions claiming he used his state authority to help his private consulting business, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the legal standard involved was flawed. The feds hope to go after him again, but it’s better to be under indictment than convicted.

LOSERS

Nick Langworthy – After successive losses for Carl Paladino, Jane Corwin and now Chris Collins, the Erie County Republican chairman should check the back of his suit jacket for a big bull’s-eye. Doubts about Langworthy’s ability to continue are at an all-time high, and Buffalo Republicans are reportedly casting around for a new leader. Erie Democrats may be in the same, if not worse, shape, but the GOP will need to make a decision before the 2012 campaign season kicks into full gear.

John Liu – The New York Post called him a “Liu-ser” on the front page yesterday. We must concur. The federal investigation into his alleged straw donors threatens to blow away Liu’s promising mayoral campaign, likely slowing his fundraising and scaring away supporters. Just don’t expect a mea culpa anytime soon: Liu has handled past indiscretions – like massive exaggerations about purported childhood work at a sweatshop – with unflinching gusto.

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